Wisconsin Badgers (0-0) vs. LSU Tigers (0-0)
|Date & Time||Saturday August 30, 2014, 9:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Wisconsin Badgers +5 -- Over/Under: 50.5
The LSU Tigers and the Wisconsin Badgers face off on Saturday in Houston as they kick off their 2014 College Football seasons with a monster matchup of SEC and Big Ten teams.
The LSU Tigers had 10 wins last season but hey were never really in the National Title picture which has been rare for them under Les Myles. As has happened in the past LSU has a battle going on for the starting QB and we may not know who it is up until game time, but if one is named I will update this article. I am not going to pretend I have any inside information on who has the inside track between Anthony Jennings and Brandon Harris, because I don’t, but I will say LSU has recruited well and just to be on the roster is a good indication you can play some big time college football. Leonard Fournette was the running back everyone wanted and LSU landed him and I am as excited as anyone to see the freshman in game action. LSU had two receivers that caught about 90 percent of the passes last season and both are gone so someone will need to step up whether it be Travin Dural, John Diarse, or Malachi Dupre or one of the other wildly talented but inexperienced WR’s on the roster. With the inexperience at the skill positions, in the trenches the Tigers are stacked with four returning starters including left tackle La’el Collins. Speaking of the trenches, LSU’s D-line is loaded with Danielle Hunter leading a pass rush that should be second to none. LSU has a tradition in the secondary going and while this year’s group is young, they are big on talent with Tra’Davious White and Rashard Robinson both NFL quality corners.
This game is about as big as it gets for the Wisconsin Badgers as their schedule avoids Big Ten powers Ohio State and Michigan State and a win here could put them in a strong position as we move further into the fall. Like LSU, Gary Andersen hasn’t named his starting QB for the Badgers as Tanner McEvoy who is more of a dual threat QB competes with last year’s starter Joel Stave who is coming off of a shoulder injury in his throwing arm. There is no controversy at RB where Melvin Gordon and his 8.1 yards per carry career average becomes the regular back. At WR there are a lot of question marks as all of last year’s main targets are gone and returners Jordan Frederick and Alex Erickson where dinged up in Spring practice. The O-Line should be Wisconsin’s best unit on the team with four returning starters including Rob Havenstein who checks in at 6’8” and 327 pounds. Wisconsin has moved a lot of players around on defense to try and get faster, even if t means getting smaller. Derek Landish has the unenviable task of replacing Chris Borland and the secondary has the most returning starters with Sojourn Shelton and Darius Hillary at the corners. It is an entirely new front seven for the Badgers.
LSU is 2-5 against the spread in their last seven non-conference games and 1-5 against the spread in their last six games overall. Wisconsin is 4-1 against the spread in their last five non-conference games and 1-4 against the spread in their last five neutral site games.
Look for hard hitting smash mouth football featuring the running game and I like for the defenses to win this battle which if you have folled the site at all know is just how I like my college football. I believe LSU has the better talent but both offensive lines are just so good and this makes for a close game. Even if LSU’s O-Line wears down Wisconsin’s smaller defense, which I expect them to do, Les Myles has a way of taking games his team should win and cover the point spread and make them close and exciting and facing Andersen who is one of the very best there is in today’s game, I can’t lay this kind of number in a game that appears will be decided by a field goal or less.
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